Fix Hyperlinks Not Working In Outlook

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Fix Hyperlinks Not Working In Outlook 1

I recently ran into an issue where Outlook 2016 on Windows 10 was giving me one of these errors whenever I would try to click on a link: “This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator” or “Your organization’s policies are preventing us from completing this action for you. For more info, please contact your help desk”. While there are security policies in place, the ability to click on a hyperlink is not included in them, so the issue had to be from something else. In my case, my default browser was set to Firefox (recently upgraded from the x86 to the x64 version, which might have been when the problem started). After some digging, I found the steps needed to resolve this issue.

How To Fix Hyperlinks Not Working In Outlook

Step 1: Reset Internet Explorer settings

  • Start Internet Explorer.
  • Select Tools > Internet Options.
  • Select Advanced > Reset.
  • In the Reset Internet Explorer Settings window, select Delete personal settings > Reset.
  • Select Close when it is completed.
  • Close and restart Internet Explorer.

Step 2: Reset Your Default Programs

  • In Internet Explorer, Select Tools > Internet Options.
  • Select Programs > Set programs.
  • Select Set your default programs.
  • In the Programs list, select Microsoft Outlook > Set this program as default.
  • Scroll back up to the top of the default programs list and highlight Internet Explorer and select Set this program as default.
  • Select OK, and close the Default Programs dialog box.

Step 3: Fix The .html Registry Key

  • Select Start > Run.
  • In the Open box, type regedit, and then select OK.
  • Locate, and then click the following registry subkey: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \.html
  • Make sure that the value of the String (Default) is “htmlfile“. If it’s not “htmlfile”, right-click (Default), select Modify, input htmlfile in the Value data box, and then select OK.
    Fix Hyperlinks Not Working In Outlook 2
  • Exit Registry Editor.

Step 4 (Optional): Fix The .htm, .shtml, .xht, .xhtml Registry Keys

  • Open an administrator command prompt
  • Enter the following commands:

    REG ADD HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.htm /ve /d htmlfile /f
    REG ADD HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.html /ve /d htmlfile /f
    REG ADD HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.shtml /ve /d htmlfile /f
    REG ADD HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.xht /ve /d htmlfile /f
    REG ADD HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.xhtml /ve /d htmlfile /f

  • Restart your computer

Final Steps
After completing the steps above, try clicking on a hyperlink in Outlook again and it should open in Internet Explorer. Once you have verified links are working, you should be able to change your default browser back to Firefox or Chrome and the links should open in that browser now.

You can try some other options from this Microsoft KB article.

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